A TOWN centre has just one clothes shop left after a fashion store closed its doors for good last week.

Peacocks is the latest shop in Bicester to close, leaving yet another empty unit in Pioneer Square.

It follows a number of other retailers that have pulled down their shutters in the town centre such as M&Co, Marks & Spencer, H. Samuel and Clintons.

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Although the town is home to designer outlet Bicester Village, residents say the town centre has become a ‘joke’ due to the lack of shops on offer.

With Peacocks gone, New Look is now the only clothes shop in Sheep Street.

Oxford Mail:

Resident Lucy Webb commented on the Bicester Chat Facebook group: “This is sad, Bicester has hardly any clothes stores. Wish the Marks and Spencer hadn’t moved and they put in a useful clothes store like Primark.”

Betty Williams commented: “Our main street (Sheep Street) has been reduced to coffee shops, charity shops and barbers. I would have liked to see more done to support the small local businesses.

Also read: Bicester town centre 'just a shell' as another shop closes for good

“I did actually support a campaign for this some time ago but to no avail obviously. Bicester town centre was once a busy thriving hub with a diverse range of shops - I miss those days.”

Towns across the country have struggled in recent years to keep shops open on the high street due to increased online shopping. Businesses have also been impacted this year by the pandemic.

Bicester resident Ashley Boyce said: “If people keep panicking about Covid and not supporting the economy then there’ll be plenty more businesses to go under yet.

Oxford Mail:

“Problem is we are our own worst enemy, it’s so easy to order everything online now, high streets all over the country are all dying, why have the cost of several shops, when all you need is one big warehouse to service online orders?”

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Bicester Chamber of Commerce says it recognised and raised concerns for the national high street issue back in early 2019, well before the Covid-19 outbreak, but that the pandemic has ‘intensified’ the situation for some businesses.

Oxford Mail:

Graham Perryman, chair of the group, previously said: “The chamber has been actively involved since then in making the town centre regeneration a priority and as such have been working collaboratively with local businesses, Bicester Vision and Cherwell District Council to support its revival ever since.

“As we recover from the pandemic there will be other plans and initiatives that seek to re-invigorate and support our wonderful town centre.”